If you passed him on the street, you might not notice Chris Kläfford. With his long hair and beard, not to mention his humble manner, he knows he doesn’t exactly have the appearance of a typical star.
“I know that I don’t look like a typical singer,” said Kläfford.
“Sometimes when I went to gig, people just looked at me, thinking like, ‘Oh, who is this?’ I don’t think they think much of me. Being here on America’s Got Talent feels like the ultimate validation for me.”
But Kläfford believes in letting his talent speak for itself. And he has talent by the barrelful.
The “America’s Got Talent” judges are always pleasantly surprised — though admittedly hesitant — when a singer announces they’re going to perform an original song.
They know they might be in for something big. Just take Grace Vanderwaal, the singer-songwriter who captured everyone’s heart when she performed her original song “I Don’t Know My Name” back in 2016, earning a Golden Buzzer.
Of course, not everyone is a good songwriter. Ultimately, the judges don’t know what they’re in for.
During Kläfford’s first audition, he performed his take on John Lennon’s “Imagine.”
The audition was good enough to bring him to the second round, where he would now be competing for one of seven available spots. But this time, he decided to perform an original song.
Kläfford gave a short explanation of what his song “Something Like Me” was about. The soulful ballad was a tribute to his experiences being judged and dismissed for his appearance.
But as powerful as the message was, it was Kläfford’s vocals that blew everyone away.
His voice, which moves from soft and gravelly to strong and emotive, shows an incredible range. It’s not often that the judges and the audience of AGT are spellbound in their seats, but Kläfford made it happen.
When finished, he was greeted with a standing ovation from the audience and judges alike.
Kläfford, obviously overwhelmed with emotion at the response, covered his tears with one hand and smiled.
Simon Cowell, of course, gave his opinion with his infamous bluntness.
“I watched your first audition back and I wasn’t that excited as I thought I was,” said Cowell. “So, I was concerned that if you came back and did a cover — I’ve seen and heard that too many times in my life. The song actually enabled us to learn more about you and who you are. It wasn’t a risk. A risk would have been not doing that. You’ve made our jobs a little bit harder now because it was that good!”
The season of “America’s Got Talent” isn’t yet over, so there’s no telling how far Kläfford will go.
Regardless, the world heard his voice and music for the first time. No matter how far he goes, there’s no doubt he’ll do it his way, refusing to fit into the standard mold.
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